The HeroZona Foundation and the American Legion Travis L. Williams Post 65’s third “Play It Forward for the Arts” program is coming to The Academies at South Mountain (5401 S. 7th St.) in Phoenix on Saturday, Oct. 12, when a free Pinkfong Baby Shark mini show and family resource fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program will help children in preschool through first grade engage through the arts while offering multiple programs and resources to help families prepare students for preschool and kindergarten.
“I’m excited to offer children the opportunity to see a nationally acclaimed performance completely free of charge while simultaneously bringing resources to parents to help their kids succeed in the school year,” says Play It Forward Creator, U.S. Army Desert Storm Veteran and HeroZona Foundation Founder Alan “AP” Powell. “Exposing students to the arts at a young age is vital to help foster creativity and growth.”
The Pinkfong Baby Shark mini show will have two free showings at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The live performance incorporates colorful LED lights with fun music and dance. With more than 2.8 billion Youtube views worldwide, Pinkfong has been featured on national platforms such as “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” and “The Late Late Show with James Cordon”.
The resource fair will include inflatables for kids, over twenty-one different arts and culture groups, and Phoenix Suns dancers and cheerleaders. Special appearances will be made by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego; Phoenix Suns mascot, the Gorilla; Diamondbacks mascot, Baxter the Bobcat; and the South Mountain Community College mascot, the cougar.
Partners for the upcoming Play It Forward for the Arts experience with Pinkfong include the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Public Service (APS), the Greater Phoenix Urban League, Cesar Chavez Foundation, Roosevelt Elementary School District No. 66 and Laveen school districts, Phoenix Union High School District, City of Phoenix, National Head Start Awareness Month, Arizona In-Home Care Association, YMCA, Boys & Girl Club of Metro Phoenix, M.A.N. C.A.V.E., R Entertainment, African American Christian Clergy Coalition and the Salvation Kroc Corps Community Center. Media partners include Mega 104.3, 101.1 The Beat, La Campesina 101.9 and Entercom 101.5 Live.
The HeroZona Foundation’s Play It Forward program was created as an initiative to expose students to the arts at an early age and give them a head start with opportunities to learn, create and grow. According to studies from Momentum Worldwide, 76% of Americans say entertainment has influenced the person they are today and 73% of Millennials feel the world would be a better place if people went to more live performances.
The first Play It Forward for the Arts engagement was held in early 2019, when high school students from Phoenix Union High School District attended a performance of August Wilson’s award-winning civil rights play “Two Trains Running” at the Herberger Theatre. The second Play It Forward for the Arts event brought elementary students from the Roosevelt Elementary School District to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in concert through a performance by the Phoenix Symphony.